The City of Grain Valley announced the retirement of Police Chief James Beale on June 21st. Beale has served 38 years in the law enforcement field.
Beale joined the Grain Valley Police Department in 2009 and has fulfilled various roles in his 13 years with the department - most recently as the Chief of Police since 2018.
In a release, the City outlined accomplishments during Beale's tenure, including the launch of Camp Focus for local youth, working towards increased community outreach, and the successful passing of a bond issue for a new police station.
Beale was not available for comment, but the City's release stated Beale is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
The City is seeking bids for an executive search firm to assist in the search for a new police chief. Bids are due July 12th, with interviews planned for late July and selection by the August 22nd Board of Aldermen meeting.
The City of Grain Valley announced the retirement of Chief James Beale on June 21st. Photo credit: City of Grain Valley
The Grain Valley Park Board met June 22nd to review recent expenditures, upcoming projects, and receive an update on the Pathways of Honor project at Butterfly Trail.
Reviewing recent expenditures, the department purchased a new Ventrac mower, which was listed at a cost of $46,880.84. The eight wheeled mower will allow for enhanced mobility, as well as quicker mowing times.
The recent replacement of an AC Compressor in the Community Center was not a planned purchase, but required due to the failure of the previous unit. The cost of the unit came in at $18,329.00.
The Buckner-Tarsney Trail Design, at a projected cost of $31,142.00, was also discussed. The trail design is located where Blue Branch Creek Trail intersects with Buckner Tarsney Rd. and continues south to Nelson Dr.
The department also ordered a new set of flags for the Veterans Tribute at the Pathways of Honor, listed at a cost of $776.00.
“Our goal is to always have a backup set. Then our goal is to always have a new set up prior to Memorial Day and then six months later for Veterans Day,” Shannon Davies, Director of Grain Valley Parks and Recreation said.
Park Board member Mike Switzer gave an update on the current growth and status of the memorial.
“It looks nice up there. The wildflowers are doing what they do - being wild. The guy from the Department of Natural Resources said that it looked good. One of the things we want to do is habitat the butterflies. Overall, it looks great and it's holding up well,” Switzer said.
Davies then went on to discuss the City's Comprehensive Plan and a separate Parks Master Plan. The last City Comprehensive Plan was completed in 2014.
“We've had so much growth in the last almost ten years, that we felt it was time to have another one,” Davies said.
Bids for consulting firms to complete the Comprehensive Plan and Parks Master plan are due by June 28th.
The next topic of discussion surrounded the Park Board’s involvement with the future construction of the new Grain Valley Mid-Continent Library, which will be located off of Buckner Tarsney Rd. There will be a “pocket park,” otherwise known as a green space, located to the north of the library. Davies called this a “connector piece,” where current and future trails will intersect and better adjoin the rest of the town.
Brian Bray, the President of the Park Board, then brought up concerns about the bridge on the new Blue Branch Creek Trail. His concerns dealt with kids jumping into the creek despite unsafe conditions below.
“If it's like most creeks, not the best thing to be in,” Alderman Dale Arnold said.
Efforts are being made by the Park Board to ensure the safety of anybody involved with activity on Blue Branch Creek Trail.
The Board then transitioned to highlight current programs and special events. Davies mentioned the Grain Valley Public Works event taking place at Armstrong Park on June 23, from 5-7pm. He also brought to attention the success of Grain Valley’s aquatic programming.
“Our swim lessons are always popular. We usually have so many that we have a waiting list for certain age groups. So far, our swimming attendance has been pretty good. Of course the weather has cooperated quite a bit. We're in prime swimming weather now,” Davies said.
Youth Baseball and Softball spring season has gone well, and is set to finish on June 30th.
“We have just a little over 50 teams, and a little over 550 kids enrolled in both sports,” Davies said.
Grain Valley’s tennis lessons underwent its first session earlier on in June, and is currently in the process of its second session. Coach Randy Draper and his high school players take the initiative to run the camp. Kids aged six and up are welcome to enhance their tennis skills in a fun, positive environment.
“It's a well attended camp. It doesn't hurt that you got Coach Draper involved with it either,” Davies said.
The Park Board meeting ended with Davies welcoming two new members to the board. Sean Brady was introduced, who has four years of previous experience on the board, as well as Dale Arnold, who will serve as the Board of Aldermen Liaison.
The next meeting of the Park Board will be held on August 16th at the Grain Valley Community Center.
Grain Valley Parks and Recreation recently hosted the first round of its popular Popsicles in The Park program. The activity allows families to spend quality time together during the summer season while members of Parks and Recreation read stories and hand out free popsicles. The most recent round of Popsicles in The Park took place at the Armstrong Park Gazebo located off of Main Street in Grain Valley on June 14th.
The children and their respective guardians were presented with three special stories, each containing an important takeaway.
The first book read was titled “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins. This tale commends readers to put themselves in their peers' shoes, and to respect and come to appreciate each other's differences.
The second title was “The Butterfly That Could” by Ross Burach. This story preaches perseverance and inspires kids to keep on trying, even when their efforts seem useless.
The third and final title was “The Duckling Gets a Cookie” by Mo Willems. The book teaches the importance of sharing and the value of manners.
The children listened intently to each story, taking in the exuberant performance done by the Grain Valley Parks and Recreation reader, which was Mrs. T, a local first grade teacher.
Although the stories conveyed valuable life lessons, the popsicles were the main attraction of the event. With temperatures upwards of 90 degrees, and rising humidity levels, the summer treats were that much more rewarding.
Grain Valley’s Recreation Supervisor Justin Crutchfield was in attendance to hand out the popsicles, interact with families, and to collect any resulting trash.
The event ended with dozens of smiling faces and high spirits. The kids were encouraged to play on the nearby playground and meet new friends.
Popsicles in The Park is one of the many programs planned by Grain Valley Parks and Recreation to spread joy and create opportunities for summer fun. The next session of Popsicles in The Park will be held at the Armstrong Park Gazebo on Tuesday, July 12th, at 6:30pm.
by Michael Smith
When the Grain Valley football team played in the Class 5 District 7 championship last season, the passing game became key.
The Eagles had just 52 seconds left to score a touchdown as they were down 17-10 to Raytown with their season on the line. Before the final drive, quarterback Caleb Larson only had thrown three passes.
On this possession Larson completed five out of his 7 pass attempts and capped it off with an 11-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Keegan Hart with no time remaining. Austin Schmitt made the extra point to tie the game at 17-all and eventually won the contest 38-37.
Because of that win, Grain Valley advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 5 Tournament before falling to Fort Osage the next week.
Throughout the playoffs, not only did Larson come up big, but so did his wide receivers. Three out of his four starting wide receivers return from last season and give the Eagles a group that is battle tested and has plenty of playoff experience.
“We have returning receivers which is great and we have our quarterback coming back, who played really well last year,” Grain Valley head coach David Allie said. “We feel like we can throw the ball when we need to. We feel like we can be multidimensional. They are the most experienced group on the offensive side.”
Returning to the Eagles at wide receiver are Anthony Greco, Hart and Brek Sloan, all of whom started at wide receiver for the first time in 2021. The group will be missing Logan Pratt, who graduated and was the team’s main deep threat down the field.
“Honestly, I think we are going to exceed expectations, we have a fast group that has breakaway speed,” Sloan said. “We are crafty with our moves and consistently open up space. We are mastering every route.
“Logan is one of a kind. We will miss him. But I think this group will be just as good, maybe even better.”
The Eagles, however, will have a new weapon at receiver in Blue Springs transfer Noah Olah, who should contribute quite a bit to the team this coming season.
“He and Anthony were friends before he came here and he’s fit right in,” Allie said. “That really helps. The other guys welcomed him with open arms.”
Added Sloan: “He’s a dog. He will work hard and will compete with everyone. He has an extra gear in his speed.”
Olah said he anticipates getting even more reps with the Eagles than he had with the Wildcats.
“It’s been great,” Olah said about his time with Grain Valley so far. “It’s like a family, I really like it.”
Greco, who had two games in which he had over 100 receiving yards, said he’s working on the fundamentals.
“I am trying to get bigger and faster so I can become a better football player,” Greco said. “I’m just working on the little things.”
Sloan has been moving around to different positions on offense as he’s one of the most versatile players on the Eagles.
“Brek is athletic enough to play anywhere,” Allie said. “He could be our backup quarterback at the beginning of the season. He was so athletic, that we got him in as a receiver last year. We wouldn’t have won (the playoff game against Raytown), without his contributions.”
If the Grain Valley receivers can make more strides over the summer, that could make things even better for Larson, who has experience playing with three of his receivers.
“We have already seen in the offseason that the continuity the receivers have with Caleb helps a lot,” Allie said. “That relationship they have with the quarterback is going to be a pretty good one.
Added Greco: “He definitely gives us a chance. He has some confidence under his belt.”
Grain Valley receivers, from left, Noah Olah, Break Sloan and Anthony Greco still join Keegan Hart to form an experiment wide receiver corps. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Noah Olah, a transfer from Blue Springs, runs a route during Tuesday's OTA.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
by Michael Smith
When Grain Valley graduate Drake Tipton joined the wrestling team at Missouri Valley College, there was one person who took him under his wing – Fort Osage graduate Elias Vaoifi.
Vaoifi was a part of a global ministry called Athletes In Action, which has athletes from different sports join from around the world to travel to different countries to share their beliefs and experiences in regard to Christianity and compete against others in their respective sports.
Vaoifi invited Tipton to join the ministry and it led the former Eagle to a trip that changed his life in the summer of 2021.
He traveled to the Ukraine and Moldova to wrestle against overseas competitors and share his beliefs along with other wrestlers from the United States from Athletes in Action. There, of course, was a language barrier when Tipton engaged with those who lived in the Ukraine.
“I couldn’t understand a lick of what they were saying and even though they couldn’t understand me either, they were some of the most friendly people I have ever met,” said Tipton, who was a two-time state qualifier and state medalist at Grain Valley.
Tipton got to face off against some Ukrainian opponents and it ended up changing the way he wrestled. There was an opponent that he went up against in which the Missouri Valley sophomore lost 6-4. But in his second match with the same opponent, he won 10-6, gaining his opponent’s respect.
“They had a relentless style of wrestling there,” Tipton said. “They are constantly on the attack. You have to earn their respect because they don’t respect you when they don’t know your language. When he beat me the first time he gave me this look that was like, ‘Get out of my face.’
“But after I faced him the second time, I won by a larger margin than he beat me, I got his respect after that and we were best friends. In the Ukraine, their job and livelihood is dependent on wrestling.”
While there, Tipton also got to share his story about how he became a believer in Christianity and how it changed his life. One of the members of Athletes in Action, Steve Bennett, served as the interpreter between those who spoke English and those who spoke Ukrainian.
“We shared the gospel and how we came to Jesus,” Tipton said.
It was a trip the college sophomore will never forget and it changed his life and the way he wrestles. When he got back to the United States, he attended wrestling practices and camps at Blue Springs High School in the MO West Wrestling Club. After that, he went back to Missouri Valley College to practice and prepare for the 2021-2022 season.
His teammates noticed a difference in Tipton’s style of wrestling and the change came because of what he learned overseas.
“I used to be a defensive wrestler and react to what my opponent was doing,” Tipton said. “When I came back from Europe, I felt so much more confident on the mat. One of my teammates told me, ‘You are wrestling differently and in a scary way.”
“I was much more aggressive. Even if someone gets in on my legs, I kept on the attack and wanted to score points at all times. That’s how they wrestle in the Ukraine and I picked that up. After coming back from overseas, I really felt like I belonged with these guys (at Missouri Valley College) and that I was on par with them.”
Before the 2021-22 season, however, Tipton suffered a torn labrum while training in August, and decided to wear a brace while wrestling. He then had to change the way he worked out and trained so he wouldn’t make his injury any worse.
“I couldn’t go as hard as I wanted to,” Tipton said. “Sometimes I had to ask to leave practice early and my coaches were understanding. I also wouldn’t have been able to get through the season without our trainer, Jordyn. She was my rock throughout all of this.”
Tipton was able to wrestle and compete in duals and tournaments for the Vikings for the whole season and afterward, Tipton was able to focus on fully healing his injury as he had surgery after the season ended in March.
“Thirteen weeks ago my shoulder felt great,” Tipton said. “I have never taken that much time away from wrestling before. I am excited to get back on the mat.”
Tipton said he plans on attending an Athletes in Action Tournament in late August. It will be a senior-level tournament in which he will be wrestling against those older than himself. He plans on starting a fundraiser and has a T-shirt design in mind that he will be selling to help raise money for the trip. The cost will be around $3,000.
He plans on getting started in July. For more information to donate, Tipton can be followed on Twitter @DrakeTipton79kg.
“I am going to be going against grown men in the 79 kilogram weight class,” Tipton said. “It’s not going to be a cakewalk.
“I truly appreciate the support I have been shown. And I hope we can continue to grow and reach new milestones.”
In the meantime, Tipton will be training for that tournament and his sophomore season at Missouri Valley. He credited Grain Valley graduate Blake Desselle, who is a trainer at Exos Physical Therapy & Sports Performance, with helping him with his lifting program and “helping him compete at a higher level.”
For his remaining three seasons in college, Tipton is aiming high in regard to his goals with the wrestling program.
“I want to be an All-American,” he said. “If I had $1,000, I would bet $1,001 on myself. I am ready to let loose.”
Grain Valley graduate Drake Tipton traveled to the Ukraine in the summer of 2021 to share his story about being a Christian and competed against wrestlers overseas. Photos courtesy Drake Tipton
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
As I get older, I find myself referencing most events “by the years.” This happened twenty years ago or that happened fifty years ago. That was very apparent this past weekend when the Historical Society teamed with our neighbor, the Iron Kettle, and conducted the first historical tour of Grain Valley. And while you must begin 144 years ago with the founding of our town, other dates were relatively recent.
One hundred years ago this July, my father moved with his family from Prescott, Michigan to Grain Valley, Missouri. Over the next 75 years he saw many changes in our town. But, over the next few weeks I want to focus on the changes since his death, 25 years ago.
In June 1997, Grain Valley had fewer than 5,000 people. Although it would be another 9 years before the first graduating class had over 100 students, the high school had moved to the present location in 1996 and the south side of town was starting to grow.
In January 1997, State Bank of Missouri announced they would be adding a second location on Eagles Parkway at Sni-A-Bar Boulevard where according to then bank president Mark Heins, “Grain Valley has experienced such a strong residential boom.”
While the bank and some new businesses, including Sonic Drive-in, were locating in Grain Valley, the U. S. Post Office was threating to leave. Early in 1997 it was announced the Post Office would be moved to Blue Springs. After several weeks of dispute and arbitration, in March residents learned that while rural delivery would come from Blue Springs, the Grain Valley Post Office would remain open, and we would have a separate Post Master.
Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association had been in Grain Valley about ten years when their president, Jim Johnston, announced that his company had “run out of space.”
The company was started in 1974. Since coming to Grain Valley in 1987, their membership had tripled to represent “36,000 truck drivers and individuals across the nation and in Canada.”
In late March, 1997, the Board of Alderman approved their proposal to tear down their present structure, an old truck stop, motel and restaurant, and replace it with a new 49,000 square feet building carrying a price tag of $3 million to $3.5 million. (I wonder what it would cost today?)
Twenty-five years ago, Grain Valley was not without some excitement. A film crew came to town to shoot actors driving a car down Buckner Tarsney Road. They were filming a scene from “Oklahoma Faded Love,” about the late country music singer Patsy Cline from fictious Rayville, Oklahoma.
John Penn, of Red Earth Productions in Oklahoma, said Grain Valley was picked for a couple of reasons – it is where Wade Richardson (country music recording artist and actor in the film) lived and it perfectly depicts the small-town flavor they wanted for Rayville.
If you want to read more about small-town Grain Valley flavor, don't miss next week’s article. Learn about the antiques, the Optimists, motorcycles, and powwows!
(StatePoint) A new survey reveals that the mental health of American moms is going largely unattended, with many living under a near-constant state of stress and few seeking support to ease the burden.
The research, commissioned by MDLIVE, an Evernorth company and leading provider of virtual care services in the United States, finds that 33% of mothers feel stressed or overwhelmed by their responsibilities as a mom at least five days a week. Drivers of their stress and anxiety may include financial concerns, ripple effects of the pandemic, including the mental health crisis among teens, work responsibilities and being a caregiver simultaneously to both children and aging parents.
Yet, for many moms, the prospect of managing their mental health has become a source of stress in and of itself. For 37% of moms, concerns about their own mental health are among their biggest stressors, second only to finances (40%).
Possibly even more concerning is that 70% of moms admit to holding back their feelings and not telling their partner or family when they’re stressed, and 61% feel that they have no one to turn to or confide in for help.
“Our research shows that many moms are suffering in silence and not getting the support they need,” says Dr. Shakira Espada-Campos, who brings more than two decades of direct practice experience to her role as behavioral health medical director at MDLIVE. “I cannot stress enough how important it is for them to prioritize their own well-being.”
To help moms manage their mental health, MDLIVE offers the following tips:
1. Prioritize self-care: Recognize that practicing self-care is not selfish. In addition to things like eating well, exercising, practicing good hygiene, getting enough sleep, and seeing a health care professional routinely for preventive screenings and other care, self-care also means taking time to pursue hobbies or personal interests that bring you pleasure or fulfillment or offer you a way to relax and unwind – activities you may have abandoned after having kids because it would mean time away from family responsibilities. Practicing self-care puts one in a better position to help care for others because your own well-being is in check.
2. Make time to cultivate relationships: Connecting with people who are important to you is essential to mental health. Make it a priority to spend time with partners, family, friends, colleagues, or anyone else who may be important to you, away from the house and kids, even if it’s just for a short period of time.
3. Seek help when struggling to manage stress and anxiety: If your emotional state is interfering with your daily life – if you’re having difficulty controlling your mood, withdrawing from loved ones, feeling fatigued, having trouble sleeping, lacking motivation, or frequently “zoning out” – it’s definitely time to seek professional help.
Acknowledging the importance of mental healthcare, many health plans and employers have expanded the resources available to their members and employers in recent years. New options include digital tools that can help with tracking mood, support meditation, help build life skills, and provide self-care advice. Additionally, telehealth visits with behavioral health professionals offer private, convenient, quality care quickly.
“Although it’s natural to feel like you need to be a superhero, it takes a toll. You should never feel like you’re alone in your mental health journey or that you need to suffer in silence,” Dr. Espada-Campos.
There are many cyber threats on the Internet such as phishing schemes, credential stuffing, crypto-jacking, and cloud hacking, but nothing is as dangerous as having your computer, or smartphone infected with a virus. Devices unfortunately do many things that can make you think you have a virus on your devices such as failure to start, a slow device, or unknown error messages that appear out of nowhere.
Most viruses make themselves known once they are infecting your gadgets, but some lurk under the surface of your devices. Check out these quick and easy tips to help you locate and remove viruses on your personal devices.
1. Your devices begin to restart themselves.
Devices will restart themselves when you haven't installed a critical update. If this happens, will get a notification, sometimes you won't, and that's okay. There are occasions when a random glitch will cause your devices to restart and sometimes your devices will restart because a criminal has access to them. They will restart your device suddenly to get malicious software to finish installing on your devices. If this happens, you need to shut your devices down immediately and have your favorite tech come to check your devices for infection.
2. Random Error Messages Appear.
Most tech devices automatically take care of themselves and stay fairly problem-free so it's rare your devices will display error messages saying that you need to update drivers, or that there is a breach of your IP address. These are messages that appear from malicious software installed on your gadgets or the result of your browser being hijacked as a result of drive-by hacking. Sometimes a simple reboot of your device is all you need to do to remove these bogus messages. You can also attempt to find the malicious program and remove it from your device.
3. You fall for a tech support scam.
If you fall victim to a tech support scam in which a crook wants to gain access to devices to help 'solve' a problem, there's a good chance they have installed software to log into your gadgets whenever it suits them to steal valuable information. Again, look to see if there are any unknown programs installed on your devices. If you find any that you are not familiar with, remove them immediately.
4. You can no longer access files on your devices.
When you suddenly can't access documents, videos, and pictures on your gadgets, it's a good bet that your devices have been infected with ransomware. Ransomware is one of the worse forms of viruses on the web. This malicious program will lock or encrypt your files so you can no longer access them. It also could be a variety of Wiper viruses that will just wipe your device clean. If your devices get hit with ransomware or wiper, your only option is to restore your files from backup.
5. Your devices are running hotter than usual.
If your devices are running hotter than usual, it's a good sign that someone has installed crypto-jacking software on your devices. Crooks who are looking to mine cryptocurrency will take over computers, tablets, smartphones, and sometimes gaming systems to use the power from those devices to generate more processing power to mine more crypto.
If your device won't stay cool or shuts down because of overheating, someone is using your device to mine for crypto. If this happens, you will have to find the mining software running in the background and disable it.
99% of the cyber attacks that happen to your devices require user interaction. This means in most instances you will need to click on a link to open a door for a hacker to gain access to your gadgets or fall for a scheme that tricks you into allowing someone to gain access to your computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
In many instances, you can fix these issues by rebooting your Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS to see if your device works better. If you can't access files, this trick won't work, only restoring from the backup will. Also, running a scan with your anti-virus program might find the offending program. If not, you will have to call in the big guns in the form of your IT professional to help you with this.
Cyberattacks are here to stay as we rely on our devices for work, school, and our personal lives. You should always stay vigilant to any threats that involve your devices. I hope you can use these tips to help you find out if your gadgets are infected with viruses. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
The following information is derived from Grain Valley Police Department daily calls for service log for the week of June 15-20, 2022.
June 15, 2022
700 Block Main St Citizen Contact
700 Block Main St Request for Extra Patrol
700 Block Main St Check the Welfare
200 Block EE Kirby Attempt to Contact
1200 Block NW Woodbury Ct Attempt to Contact
1200 Block NW Long Dr Misuse of 911
700 Block SW Cross Creek Open Garage Door
1000 Block SW Ephriam Dr Alarm
100 Block N Locust Agency Assist - Oak Grove PD
200 Block Parker Suspicious Auto
400 Block Rust Ct Dead Animal
600 Block SW Nelson Lost Dog
700 Block Main St Harassment
June 16, 2022
NW Meadow / NW Long Dr Suspicious Auto
1100 Block SW Stockman Ct Noise Complaint
400 Block Front St Alarm
1200 Block NW Scenic Attempt to Locate Runaway Juvenile
700 Block Main St Walk-in Report - Stalking
700 Block SW Eagles Pkwy Suspicious Person
June 17, 2022
1300 Block RD Mize Rd Disturbance
700 Block Main St Walk-in Report - Harassment
Polk County, MO Jail Prisoner Transport
1400 Block NW Highview Dr Leaving the Scene of Accident
100 Block SW Rock Creek Dr Motor Vehicle Accident
800 Block SW Hilltop Ct Stealing from Auto
800 Block SW Lee Ann Dr Alarm
Jackson County Jail Prisoner Transport
100 Block SW Eagles Pkwy Unlawful Use of Weapon
500 Block NW Orion Animal Bites
700 Block Main St Walk-in Report - Harassment
1100 Block Buckner Tarsney Leaving the Scene of Accident
June 18, 2022
100 Block Main St Oil in Roadway
SW Eagles Pkwy / Royer Area Check - ATV on Roadway
SW Eagles Pkwy / Royer Motorist Assist
2000 Block S Harding Agency Assist - Oak Grove PD
South Outer Road Possible Drunk Driver
Jefferson St / NW Pamela Blvd Disturbance
1 Veterans Way Agency Assist - Buckner PD
1400 Block SW Eagles Pkwy Motorist Assist
700 Block SW Lee Ann Cir Suspicious Activity
800 Block SW Montana Ridge Dr Peace Disturbance / Property Damage
100 Block N Locust Agency Assist - Oak Grove PD
1700 Block NW Cottonwood Cir Agency Assist - Lake Tapawingo PD
400 Block NW Europa Verbal Disturbance
June 19, 2022
700 Block Main St Agency Assist - EMS
1400 Block NE Amanda Jean Way Stealing from Auto
1300 Block RD Mize Rd Disturbance
700 Block RD Mize Rd Motor Vehicle Accident
700 Block Main St Walk-in Report - Animal Bite
600 Block Yennie Verbal Disturbance
Bristol Park Apts - Pool Area Peace Disturbance
700 Block Main St Citizen Contact
400 Block Main St Property Damage
200 Block Aaron Ln Possible Burglary
NW Eagle Ridge Blvd Area Check - Trucks driving Erratically
June 20, 2022
700 Block SW Graystone Dr Disturbance
200 Block Broadway Ter Parking Complaint
1300 Block NW Sycamore Dr Check the Welfare
500 Block Broadway St Area Check - Fireworks
700 Block Main St Walk-in Report - Motor Vehicle Accident
1100 Block McQuerry Check the Welfare
1400 Block NE Jaclyn Check the Welfare - Dog
1400 Block NW Olympic Alarm
Additional calls for service:
Suicidal subject: 2
by Michael Smith
Last season, the Grain Valley boys basketball team lacked size early in the season.
Usually, the tallest player on the floor was 6-foot-2, so the Eagles started off using a motion heavy offense and used cuts and backdoor screens to get players open under the basket or on the perimeter.
About halfway through the season, when injuries to starters Avery Garmon and Alex Snyder kept them out of the season, then sophomore Rhylan Alcanter was heavily featured as a post player and consistently put up double digit points.
This year, not only is Alcanter returning, Grain Valley has another big man in the 6-foot-4 Stylz Blackmon, who is also looking like a solid scorer down low.
That was on display during the Eagles sixth summer workout on Tuesday. So far, head coach Andy Herbert has liked what he’s seen.
“It’s been as good of a summer as we have had in a long time,” Herbert said. “We have three or four guys that you have to respect (on the perimeter). That is just going to help Stylz and Rhylan out. If you can’t help off our shooters, that’s one less person Rhylan has to worry about.
“We are trying to figure out how to play (Blackmon and Alcanter) together and toy with some different ideas on what they are comfortable with. The summer is a lot of trial and error.”
The team was able to run different plays on offense with Alcanter and Blackmon providing an inside presence. The workouts, along with scrimmages have helped coach Andy Herbert and his team try new things and work out the kinks with his new-look team.
“We have two of the biggest guys in Grain Valley on our team,” Troyer said. “We are trying to run different plays while running through those guys.
“We had trouble getting guys in the right spot last year, but this year we are trying to get all that down.”
While the Grain Valley offense will still feature a lot of off-ball movement, having two big men like Blackmon and Alcanter will allow the Eagles to play inside and out. Whenever Alcanter or Blackmon get double teamed, Grain Valley has the shooters to make other teams pay.
During Tuesday’s workout, when Herbert had his team run 5-on-5 drills, the inside presence of the big men helped players like Owen Herbert, Raif Graham, Eli Hebert and Jack Shoen get open shots from behind the 3-point line.
“Our post presence is going to be huge this year,” Owen Herbert said. “They don’t necessarily have to score, we just need them down there, to draw defenders so the guards can shoot from outside.”
Up to this point, along with the six workouts, the Eagles have had a scrimmage early in the month at Raymore-Peculiar High School, where they went 3-1 playing against different teams in the Kansas City area like Raytown, Belton and Ray-Pec.
“We did well there,” Andy Herbert said. “Nobody is keeping summer records but we did well to compete. “It’s the summer, nobody has scouted anyone. It doesn’t mean a lot but allows the guys to compete and play.”
Beginning tomorrow, Grain Valley will travel to Warrensburg to participate in a three-day camp as it will be able to scrimmage against other teams who will also be attending.
At the end of the month, Grain Valley will get to scrimmage against Van Horn, as well.
“We’ll probably play seven or eight games with a 20-minute running clock,” Andy Herbert said of the UCM camp. “It will be fun and will be good for the guys. You get to see some teams you don’t see throughout the year. It will be a good opportunity for the kids to get away.”
Grain Valley head boys basketball coach Andy Herbert talks to his team about this week's University of Central Missouri basketball camp. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior Stylz Blackmon looks for his shot in the post during a Tuesday workout.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley senior Reece Troyer drives baseline while looking for a teammate to pass to.
Photo credit: Michael Smith